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N.D. Population Surpasses 2000 Census

Fourteen of the 19 growing counties in North Dakota are in the western half of the state.

For the first time in nine years, North Dakota’s population exceeded the 2000 census count by reaching a population of 646,844 in 2009, compared with 642,200 in 2000. The 2009 estimate is up 0.8 percent from 641,421 people in 2008.

This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on county population estimates recently released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Division.

In North Dakota, the population grew in 20 counties from 2008 to 2009. Billings County had the largest percentage growth (3.6 percent) followed by Mountrail and McKenzie counties (3.4 percent each).

Eddy County showed the largest percentage decline (3.7 percent) during this period followed by Foster County (3.5 percent).

“What is most impressive about the latest round of population estimates in North Dakota is the continued strength of population shifts in western North Dakota,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “Fourteen of the 19 growing counties in the state, based on these estimates, are in the western half of the state.”

The population in North Dakota continues to be centralized. The majority of North Dakotans (53.6 percent) reside in the top four populated counties (Cass, Burleigh, Grand Forks and Ward), which is up from 49.4 percent in 2000.

Among all the states in 2009, North Dakota ranked 48th in total population and had the 23rd largest population growth rate from 2008 to 2009. Two states lost population during this time. Michigan’s population was down 0.3 percent and Maine lost 0.1 percent of its population.

The fastest growing states were Utah and Wyoming (2.1 percent each).

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
Census Statistics by County Preview
(0406 population bulletin.pdf - 1.17 Mb)
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